Ingredients

* 2 cups water

* 1 cup raisins

* 1/2 cup shortening

* 1 cup sugar

* 1 egg

* 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

* 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1/2 teaspoon each ground allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg

* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

* 1/4 cup chopped Diamond of California® Walnuts

* FROSTING:

* 1 cup packed brown sugar

* 1/3 cup half-and-half cream

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 3 tablespoons butter

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar

* Coarsely chopped Diamond of California® Walnuts, optional

Directions

* In a large saucepan, bring water and raisins to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (do not drain).

* Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Stir in raisins. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture until well blended. Stir in walnuts.

* Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack.

* For frosting, in a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cream and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat; cook and stir until smooth. Stir in butter and vanilla. Remove from the heat; cool slightly. Stir in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Frost cupcakes; top with nuts if desired. Yield: 14 cupcakes.